Thailand currently requires all visitors to be quarantined for 14 days on arrival, but wealthy tourists can now choose to spend their mandatory waiting period aboard a yacht.
Under the new program “Quarentena Digital Yacht”, international tourists can dock a yacht near the island of Phuket and isolate themselves in luxury if they present proof of a negative COVID-19 test and agree to use a smartwatch health monitor.
The monitor sends members of the Royal Navy of Thailand with real-time data on each tourist pulse, blood pressure and body temperature. It also tracks your location. Yacht travelers must use the monitor at all times and remain within 10 kilometers of the shore.
Officials hope that the program, which was first announced in November, will boost tourism in Phuket. The island would have lost more than $ 10 billion in revenue since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release, the Tourism Authority of Thailand said the scheme is expected to attract more than 100 yachts and up to 500 tourists in 2021.
“The expanded project strives to build confidence in the Thai public health sector and create additional arrival and revenue flows for tour operators in Phuket, as the destination gradually reopens for more international visitors,” the agency explained in a statement.
The yacht program is being run by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency, Advanced Info Service mobile phone operator, several Phuket tour companies and a local technology startup.
Thailand too launched a “golf quarantine” program which allows tourists to quarantine at one of five government certified golf resorts. According to the scheme, golfers must stay in their rooms for three days and then take the COVID-19 test. Individuals who pass a negative test can enjoy the resort’s facilities and play golf in groups for the rest of the isolation period.
According to TAT, the first group of 42 golfers completed the program on March 7 and is now free to move around the country.
Thailand, one of the countries most dependent on tourism in the world, is in the process of reopening its borders to international visitors.
On March 5, Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn announced that the Southeast Asian nation hopes to open five destinations for vaccinated foreign travelers by July 1. These areas include Phuket, Surat Thani, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chonburi.
Travelers will likely be required to present a vaccine passport proving that they have been inoculated against COVID-19 to enter the country.
Since March 11, there have been 26,540 reported cases of COVID-19 and 85 coronavirus-related deaths in Thailand since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.